How Social Media Affects Your Mental Health


Many of us remember the time when a boredom still existed. No-internet time. No-social media time. In our highly technological world today, we are surrounded by devices and information at any given moment of our daily lives and have no spare time to relax and simply do nothing.

Howmuch time during your dayor/and night you spend thoughtlessly scrolling through your social media feeds, liking, sharing, tweeting, and updating? Let’s be honest, most of us use every spare moment to check out our social mediaplatforms- those moments we usedto chat toanother person, read a book orenjoy a view at the beach in our pre-social media lives.

No matter whereyouare – atyour home, at the office, coffee shop, exotic beach, mounting lodge, subway, airportorashoppingmall…youare alwaysconnected.

One review study showed that people who use social networks excessively tend to neglect their personal life,withdraw andspend their daytime daydreaming,andexperience frequent mood swings. In addition, theyare likely toconceal their addictive behavior.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has warned about cyberbullying and “Facebook depression” as serious negative effects social mediahas onchildren and teens. However, the same risks affect adults as well.

Here are some examplesofhow social media can be damaging to your mental health.

1.Social Media Promotes Social Isolationand Loneliness

Despite the belief that you’re socializing with a great number of people while browsing your social media feeds, studies show that social media use actually leads to greater feelings of social isolation. One study results indicate that more time people spend on social media, the more socially isolated these people perceived themselves to be.

Thousands of friends on social mediadon’t necessarily mean you are more social and havearicher social life. One study has found that there seems to be a certain capon the number of friends each of us can handle. Moreover, it takes actual social interaction, not virtual, to keep up our friendships.

A recent survey that sampled 20,000 people 18-24 years old showed that young people are experiencing feelings of extreme isolation and loneliness, with 49 percent of themreporting sometimes or always feeling alone while 43 percent feeling their relationships are not meaningful. At the same time, 47 percent of young peoplearefeeling left out.

As we all know, loneliness is linked to numerous mental health problems.

The false impression of connection that we get from social media seems to be increasing our loneliness.Throughour online-filtered lives, we share some of the most intimate moments with thousands, millions of digital friends. Yet, we are forgetting how to have a meaningful conversation with a colleague at the office.

The constant pressure to filter and put a facade on our lives,simultaneouslycomparing our own withother people’swonderful destinies presented in social media leads to feelings of profound isolation, anxiety, and depression.

2.Social Media Negatively AffectsYour Self-Esteem

Compared to all those wonderful, beautiful, active people who seem to constantly be traveling the world, meeting new friends, staying at expensive hotels, and driving fancy cars, your life seems so small, dull, andunimportant.

Remember, social media is not real life. Don’t fall in a trap of comparing your real life to someone else’s controlled online content.

Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other social media havea negative effect on our expectations and values, our self-esteem and overall mental well-being.One surveyof 1,500 peoplefound thatsocial media platforms make half of them feel inadequate and interactive.

According to anothersurvey, 60 percent of people who use social media reportthat social mediaaffectstheir self-esteem in a negative way.

Instagram feeds loaded with filtered images ofattractive, happy peoplemany times hide the emotional struggle and mental health issues. The pressure to look perfect and impress others leads to pretending that your life is more glamorous and exciting than it is.

Furthermore, the gap between who you are pretending to be online and who you really are can trigger feelings of depression and frustration. In addition, it can make it harder to accept the less-perfect version you really are and seriously affect your self-assurance.

3.Social Media Provokes Anxiety and Depression

A study published inComputers and Human Behaviorfound that people who excessively use social media platforms(three or more platforms)are more than three times as likely as people using up to two platforms to develop high levels of general anxiety symptoms such as feelings of restlessness and worry, and trouble concentrating and sleeping.

Similarly, another survey involving 1,700 people found the link between the use of social media platforms and the risk of anxiety and depression. The researchers find the reasons for this in cyber-bullying, a distorted picture of other people’s lives, and feeling that the time spent on social media is a waste.

In addition, research has found that spending nightssurrounded by artificial lighting can inhibit the body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that helps us fall asleep.

However, social mediahas brought myriad advantages to our lives and cannot be considered asauniversally bad thing. It definitelyaffects people differently, depending on personality traits and previous experiences.

If you are concerned that social media sites negatively impact your life, we can talk about that.


Posted by Colette Lopane-Capella

You’re Not Really Into Him


When dating someone, you can be pretty sure if he is into you or not, right? All those big and small signs of someone’s affection are hard to miss. Or the lack of those signs – you simply know when someone is not investing in your relationship as much as you have expected. But, can you as easily recognize whether or not you are into him? Check out the signs below to help you decide.

1. You are not “dying” to See Him

At first, you were super excited to see your boyfriend. You would get all fidgety before thedate, and couldn’t wait to spend the evening with him. However, thereare nobutterflies in your stomach when you are with him anymore. Your enthusiasm somehow vanished already and now you’re neutral when he asks youon a date. A sure sign that you’re not really into him.

2. You are Making Plans without Him

You’ve made an exciting plan to visit Europe next summer. You already have an itinerary, all those exciting places you are going to visit and the things you plan to do…You can’t wait tostart packing your bags! You simply know you and your best friend will have a vacay of a lifetime.

Ups… your best friend? Let’s be honest… a lack of desire to do things together doesn’t look promising- making plans without your boyfriend obviously means that you’re not really into him. In addition, if you catch yourself daydreaming about freedom and singleness, you should seriously consider breaking up with your boyfriend and give yourself some time on your own.

3. You don’t like Being Alone with Him Anymore

You might have been inseparable at the very beginning of your relationship. Yet, these days you find the company of your friends much more enjoyable. Even the time spent alone seems more appealing. If you look forward to nights out with your friends more than your dates with him, this might be a sure sign that it is time to move on.

4. You Lose Your Temper Easily

It is totally normal to argue with your partner. Everyone fights from time to time. However, if your arguments happen daily and you find that you cannot have a conversation without raging at your boyfriend, it may be time to think about your feelings and the real issues behind those everyday fights that you are most likely avoiding to address.

5. You have Other Priorities

Do you rather choose to stay at home and watch a movie than go out with your boyfriend? You often stay at your office longer than you actually need and then excuse yourself that you are too tired to see him? When you start choosing your friends, family, or work over your partner, ask yourself if you’re really into him. If he is not an important part of your life, why bother?

6. You Think You Can Do Better Than Him

You don’t approve of his choice of friends, don’t respect his career, or you don’t like his family? Do you constantly have a feeling that you can do better? Cause if you do, save yourself the trouble and consider moving on with your life.

7. You no Longer have Sexual Desire

There is a lack of passion and interest in sex with your partner. You simply don’t feel sexual towards him anymore. At the same time, you catch yourself fantasizing about your colleague… Not a good sign. And definitely, a red flag that you don’t want to be with your boyfriend anymore.

8. You Don’t Miss Him

When he is not around, you hardly think about your boyfriend. Moreover, you can go days without seeing him and be just fine about that. Not missing your boyfriend after days or weeks without seeing him is a sure sign that you are just not feeling him.

9. You have no Respect for Him

Being in love is an awesome feeling. Passion, desire, great sex…all of it counts. However, respect is vital for a good, fulfilling relationship. A relationship without respect never lasts long, no matter how attracted to him you might feel. When partners don’t respect each other, they are not open about their feelings and they don’t care what the other side wants, needs, or feels. Not promising. If you don’t think highly of your boyfriend or he embarrasses you, you obviously don’t like him as much as you thought.

10. You are Hesitant about Your Relationship’s Future

You are just not sure whether he is right for you or not. You are terrified even thinking of meeting his family and can’t help thinking that your relationship is progressing a bit too fast. If you don’t feel like nurturing your relationship and putting any effort to strengthen your bond, you need to admit it – you’re not really into him.


Posted by Colette Lopane-Capella

Animals and How They Can Improve Mental Health


Animals And Mental Health

Animals have been shown to improve your mental health. Here is tons of ways how animals/pets can help your mind, body and spirit.

Petting reduces stress; rhythmic petting can be comforting to your pet as well as you. It’s proven that when you connect to your pet, oxytocin the hormone related to stress and anxiety is released, and in hand helping to reduce blood pressure and lower cortisol levels.

Animals distract you but also can help you be present, the best of both worlds. Being present and engaged with your pet, helps to keep you in the moment and focus on mindfulness and grounding, slowing down the racing thoughts that may be causing you stress and or anxiety and enjoying your time with your little fur buddy.

Animals are great listeners. Sometimes when we are feeling stuck or vulnerable it helps to get those feelings out, and who else is a better listener than your pet? A dog or cat is the perfect outlet to vent to when you need without any potential repercussions.

Animals love unconditionally. Seeing your pet’s enthusiasm when they see you fills your heart and soul. A pet’s love is unconditional and the love they show can brighten any day.

Animals get you outside, especially dogs. Dogs get you out and moving, and staying active, being out doors has shown to correlate with lower stress and anxiety levels.

Finally, they make you smile. When your pet does cute things how can you not smile? Whether your pet is rolling on their back or giving you a kiss, it makes you smile and triggers neurotransmitters to fire. These pet time smiles can raise your serotonin and dopamine levels, which are nerve transmitters associated with calmness and happiness.

So go have a great time with your pet and have fun, and if you don’t have a pet volunteering at a nearby shelter can benefit the animals from your love and benefit you from their love.

Posted by Colette Lopane-Capella

Relationship Building


How can we build on our relationships with our significant others?

Communication is key for any relationship; When communication isn’t clear things begin to take a negative route. Communicating simply means developing healthy communication skills, not just hearing what the other person is saying but understanding the message the other person is trying to get across. Take the time to listen, understand and reflect on your significant others feelings.

Trust is another key component in building a stable long-lasting relationship. Ways to develop trust involve being reliable, telling the truth, and meaning what you say. Trust means openness, don’t keep secrets, honesty is always the best policy.

Be honest, be open and the relationship will grow from there.

Posted by Colette Lopane-Capella

Black Sheep

Can we all just get along?

How to improve family relationships. Are you the black sheep of your family?

Sometimes individuals can feel like the black sheep of the family, and of course, that’s not a good emotion. So how do we improve these family dynamics and relationships? First being open and having honest conversations with your family about your feelings is the best place to start. Be true to who you are and your feelings and express them in a healthy way. When needed seek support from friends and outsiders who can help provide important feedback and suggestions. At times seeking a family therapist for the family as a whole can always be a great effective option as well.

Posted by Colette Lopane-Capella